What is general education?
Earning a university degree is about much more than fulfilling the requirements of a major. It’s about learning the key skills and knowledge needed to work effectively in our ever changing world. A General Education program (sometimes referred to as the core curriculum) consists of a collection of classes required by all majors, regardless of the degree that a student is seeking. General education classes are added to the required set of courses for a major with the intent of broadening their knowledge beyond what’s required in a specific field.
The Philosophy of General Education at PSU:
General Education is the study of humans in their global setting. The general education curriculum, therefore, acts as the heart of a university education by developing the capacities that typify the educated person and providing a basis for life-long learning and intellectual, ethical, and aesthetic fulfillment. General education examines the world around us and fosters and understanding of our interactions with the world and our place in the universe. General education celebrates the creative capacities of humankind and helps to preserve and transmit to future generations the values, knowledge, wisdom, and sense of history that are our common heritage.
2015-2016 Course Catalog, Pittsburg State University
Why is this review needed?
The last general education review/reform process began in the early 2000s as an administration-led process. The work of the General Education Task Force culminated in the creation of the current General Education Program that went into effect in Fall 2005. Since that time, significant changes have occurred in the world around us.
“In recent years, the ground has shifted for Americans in virtually every important sphere of life—economic, global, cross-cultural, environmental, civic. The world is being dramatically reshaped by scientific and technological innovations, global interdependence, cross-cultural encounters, and changes in the balance of economic and political power… Today, in an economy that is dependent on innovation and global savvy, these outcomes have become the keys to economic vitality and individual opportunity. They are the foundations for American success in all fields—from technology and the sciences to communications and the creative arts.”
Liberal Education & America’s Promise | AAC&U The Nat’l Leadership Council for Liberal Education America’s Promise (LEAP) 2008
This endeavor to examine general education comes directly from the faculty who recognize that an effective program requires continuous improvement in the context of our ever-changing external environment. The development of a new university strategic plan that reflects our acknowledgement and adaptation to these changes provides us with an opportunity to tie our undergraduate experience to the strengths of our faculty and our new, unique university mission: “… to provide transformational experiences for its students and the community.” (PSU’s Pathways to Prominence 2016-2022).